Ecclesiastes chapter number 5, the part that I want to focus on is beginning there in verse number 10 where the Bible reads, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." The title of my sermon tonight is Not Satisfied With Abundance. Not Satisfied With Abundance.
There are people in this world who have abundance, but they are not satisfied therewith. The Bible says, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; he that loveth abundance is not going to be satisfied with increase," the Bible says. It talks about the fact that the sleep of a laboring man is sweet. That's the guy who goes out and he's working hard, he's living paycheck to paycheck. It says, "The abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." Just because people have more things, it doesn't mean that they're going to be happier or more satisfied just because they have more. In fact, sometimes people who have less are more satisfied.
Now, I think this is an important sermon to preach around this time of year, because as we get into the holiday season, approaching Christmas, there is a lot of advertising and things, just geared towards selling you a lot of stuff. It's a very commercialized time of year, isn't it? You know, starting with the Black Friday and all the sales and we're all getting all the ads in the mail and showing us all the things that we need to be buying. This commercialism and this covetousness of our society is something that we need to stop and look at at this time of year and beware of so that we don't just kind of get sucked into this worldly mentality of desiring all these goods and abundance and coveting things that we don't have.
Now, if we just stop and think about a child with their toys, often the children who have the most toys are the ones who are the most discontented with what they have. They have a toy room full of toys and toys are scattered everywhere, but yet they want something different. They want a different toy. Then, somewhere in some poor country somewhere, there's a little girl that has one doll and just loves that doll and thinks it's the coolest thing ever. Bratty American child has five dolls and just none of them is the one that they want. Right? This is the difference between being satisfied, being content, and being someone who is covetous and always desiring something more. Our society teaches us to be covetous. All the advertising is geared to make us feel that we're missing out on something or that we need something else.
Flip back just one page there to Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verse 8. What does the Bible say in verse 8? "There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail." This is something that comes up over and over again in Ecclesiastes. People having great riches and not being satisfied. King Solomon was that person. He had all the abundance and was not satisfied therewith.
I love what it says in Ecclesiastes 5:11 when it says, "When goods increase, they are increased that eat them ..." Boy, do I know that that's true. "... And what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?" You think about really rich people and they have a multitude of cars. Do they really need that many cars? Are they really going to drive that many cars? No, they just kind of go out to their garage and look at all their cars. Big fancy house, but they can't really use every room in that house. They can just kind of look at it. "Look how big and nice my house looks." You know what? That's going to be cool for about a week or two, until the newness wears off and then pretty soon it's just your house, it's just your car. That's the way life is.
Go to Habakkuk chapter 2. Habakkuk chapter 2, that's one of the minor prophets toward the end of the Old Testament. While you're turning there, I'll read for you Proverbs 27:20. "Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied." Look at Habakkuk chapter 2, verse 5, "Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people."
What are we talking about here? We're talking about a very powerful man, King of Babylon. He just wants to take over more nations. He already has all this power and riches and wealth. You can look at other great kings and emperors and world leaders, they just always want to conquer more. They enlarge their desire as hell. They are as death and can not be satisfied.
Notice how it says, "Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man ..." What does pride have to do with it? A lot of times, the reason why people need to buy so many goods and increase their wealth is actually not even because they want those things as much as just to impress other people. This is called conspicuous consumption. When people buy things just for the sake of showing them off. They're proud and they want to show off all their cars and their house and their fancy clothes and purses and jewelry. It's not even that they enjoy it as much as just they want to brag about it and boast about it and just enlarge their desire as hell.
These same type of covetous people who love money, by the way, the love of money is the root of all evil, they're also real into wine. Have you noticed that? These wealthy people, they're also collectors of all the different wines, they're winos. They have all the wine stacked up, the wine cellar, the expensive wines. They're proud and they are as hell in the sense that they are never satisfied. Covetousness people.
Let me ask you this: If a person is never satisfied, you think that's a happy person? No. Being satisfied is tied in with your happiness. When you're dissatisfied, discontented, can't sleep at night, that's not a happy life. You see, getting abundance of items and things does not bring happiness to your life. I wish that all the children would listen up, because right now the children are also targeted by the advertising and shown all the toys and all the games and things that they need. Let me tell you something children, getting that toy, getting that ultimate Christmas gift that you saw in that catalog is not going to bring happiness to your life. It will be fun, it will wear off, it will get old. The older you get, the more emptiness you'll find in getting things like that.
Go to Philippians chapter 4. Philippians chapter 4, while you're turning there, I'll read for you 1 Timothy 6, " But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich," meaning they that want to be rich, "fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
That's what we should be seeking in our lives. We shouldn't be on a quest for money and gold and silver and toys and cars and boats and RVs. No, we should be on a quest for righteousness, seeking godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. These should be the goods that we seek to acquire. What's the point of the birth of Jesus Christ? Was he born that he might bring in retail sales and that he might bring in abundance of toys in the stocking? Is that why Jesus Christ came to this Earth or did he come to bring peace on Earth and goodwill to men? Did he come to bring salvation, love? Did he come to bring in righteousness, godliness, faith? That's what we ought to be seeking after. It's easy to get caught up in the quest for goods and the quest for merchandise.
The Bible says in Philippians chapter 4, verse 11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
There are people in this world who are contented people and people who are discontented, covetous people. It's not based on their circumstances, it's based on who they are. Paul said, "I've learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." He could be content when he abounded and he could be content when he was abased. He could be content when he was full and he could be content when he was hungry. Why? He'd learned in whatsoever state he was therewith to be content. This is a learned skill.
If you would, flip over to 1 Kings chapter 21. 1 Kings chapter 21. Here's a story about a guy who had great abundance, but yet he coveted something else. He wanted something that didn't belong to him. This is the story of King Ahab and he coveted after Naboth's vineyard. 1 Kings chapter 21, verse 1, "And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money."
Now, this guy is such a spoiled brat, he admits the fact that he already owns a better vineyard. He already has something better. But no, he wants the one that's right by his house. It's just never enough for him. He just always wants something just a little different, a little better. If he had the one that was right by his house, you know what he'd be saying? "Well, yeah. I know this one's right by my house, but that one's better." He's even saying that the other one's better. The grass is always greener, the vineyard's always greener on the other side of the fence.
He says here, "I'll give you the worth of it in money or I'll give you a better vineyard." "And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee." See, biblically, they were supposed to hang on to their inheritance and not sell it. He's actually obeying scripture by not selling. That's why he said "God forbid".
Verse 4, "And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread." Face the wall. "But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
But he's whining and crying. It's like a little kid. "He took my toy away." You know, telling mom. "He won't give me the vineyard [inaudible 00:12:19]" This is the way a child would act when they're like two years old. Facing the wall, you know where you try to smile to them and talk to them. He's a grown man and he's acting this way. You know what? This is the way adults are when they're ungodly and covetous. They're like a spoiled baby. They're like a little brat, a little toddler. You know, Jezebel, the Bible talks about Ahab was wicked and Jezebel, his wife, stirred him up, it says elsewhere. She was always instigating him to be more wicked. She just tells him, "Oh, just steal it. Just murder and steal. Yeah, you want something that doesn't belong to you, just kill Naboth and take the vineyard. You're in charge. You're the King of Israel." Terrible advice. You can see this spoiled brat mentality where he's already got a better vineyard, but he's not happy with it.
Now, go if you would to 2 Chronicles chapter 11, verse 21. One of the things that the Bible talks about not coveting, besides just merchandise and kind of emphasize goods and merchandise this time of year, just because this a very commercialized time of year when we get close to Christmas. I'll talk a little bit more about that later in the sermon. Another thing that God often tells us not to covet is we're not to covet our neighbor's wife. That's one of the things he brings up in the ten commandments where he says, "Don't covet your neighbor's wife nor anything else that is thy neighbor's." Of course, the Bible says in Hebrews 13, "Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, but whore-mongers and adulterers, God will judge." He follows that up by saying, "Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have. For it is said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
Here's another example of a guy in the Bible who's a covetousness spoiled brat, besides Ahab, and this is Rehoboam. Look what it says about Rehoboam in verse 21 of 2 Chronicles 11. The Bible reads, "And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)"
Here's a guy, get the picture. This guy has 18 wives and 60 concubines. Now, the concubine is the one that he sleeps with, but it doesn't have the status of being his wife. She's not important enough to be the wife of a king, so she's just one that he sleeps with. That's what the concubine is. He has 18 wives and 60 concubines. He has 78 women at his disposal right here. But he has one that's the favorite. It clearly says, "He loved Maachah, the daughter of Absolam above all his wives and concubines." Everybody got the picture? Wait till you see what it says next. You look at that and you're like, "Whoa. That's weird." Keep reading.
"And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king. And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives." Whoa, buddy. You already have many wives. You've got 78 women. You've already got the one that is the love of your life. You got 77 others that are not the love of your life, but they're just there for your enjoyment, but you desire many more. He desired many wives. Wouldn't you think that a guy who's got 78 wives, pretty much, would just say, "You know what? I'm satisfied. This is enough. This is plenty. I'm satisfied." But is he satisfied?
Did you know that there are men in this world that are married to one wife and they're perfectly satisfied? They're married to one woman and they're satisfied. They're satisfied with just Maachah. That's all they need. Then, there's a guy that's got 78 and he desires many more and many more. He wants more. He's not happy. Don't you think that there's something wrong with this guy? Do you think there's something wrong with all his wives or do you think that there's something wrong with him? There's something wrong with this guy.
This right here should show you that abundance is not just automatically going to make you satisfied. "Well, if I just convert to Islam and have four wives, that'd be enough." No, because then you want 74 and 78. Because it's a stupid mentality. Because itt's not the way to find happiness. So many people today, they think, "Man, if I could just get this, I'd be happy. If I could just make this much money or get this car or get this house, just get this wife, whatever ..." We see that there are people like the apostle Paul who are satisfied with nothing and then there are people like Rehoboam who have 78 women and it's not enough for him. See what I'm saying? They're the problem, not what they have.
It's interesting because I read about a study that was done on college graduates. Basically, there are two kinds of people in this world. I found this to be true in my life too. There are two kinds of people in this world. Let's call them the satisfizer and the maximizer. Now, the satisfizer is one who is basically wants to be satisfied with enough. Then, the maximizer is the one who demands to have the best of everything and they're always looking for something else out there that's better and they're never content with what they have because they're not sure if it's the very best thing. They're only going to be happy if they have the best. They want to maximize. Then, the other one wants to satisfize. Now, I don't think that's really a word.
Think about this, there was a study that I read up on, though, where they checked with a bunch of college graduates and there were college graduates who were satisfizers and there were college graduates that where maximizers. Group A college graduates in this study, they basically when they graduated from college, they just wanted to find a good job, a job that would pay them what they're looking to make, what they would expect to make from getting that degree. They were just looking for a good job. When they find a good job, they're going to take it. Group B on the other hand was the maximizer group, where they are not just looking for a good job, they want to make sure that they get the best job that they could possibly get. They want to get the best job.
Now, on the surface, that sounds good. Why not? Aim high. Do your best. When they studied these two groups, the group B that was the maximizer group where they sought out the very best job ... I mean, they put the resume out all over the place and really wanted to make sure that they got the best job. They made 20% more money than group A. Now, doesn't that make sense? Obviously, if group A is just settling for a good job that they like, obviously group B that goes out and seeks to find the very best job that they possibly can is going to get a better job. Not only did group B make about 20% more money, but they also had better jobs in the sense that there were more benefits, there was a better workplace environment, pretty much by every measure, the group B jobs were better than the group A jobs when the results were in.
But when they asked these same people if they're happy with their job, if they're happy and like it, group A was much happier. They had said, "Yeah, I'm real happy with my job. I like it." Group B is like finding everything wrong with it. Even though group B's job is paying them 20% more money, better work environment, better everything, but they weren't happy with it. Why? Because they're that type of person that's a maximizer instead of a satisfizer. Instead of just being content with something good, they just are thinking, "What else is out there that I'm missing?"
Now, food choices is another subject. Husbands and wives is one thing, food choices. Go to Numbers chapter 11. There's a lot about food in the Bible. Numbers 11 is a story that involves food. When you think about this subject, the restaurant that kind of came to my mind is Cheesecake Factory. Here's the thing about Cheesecake Factory. Cheesecake Factory has the biggest menu of any restaurant that I've ever been to. I mean, don't get me wrong, the food at Cheesecake Factory is really good. It's just like pages of menu. Pages and pages and pages. It's unbelievable that they could actually serve that variety of food. Who knows what I'm talking about? Who's noticed that before? It just blows you away. It can be overwhelming.
Now, the maximizer who goes to Cheesecake Factory, their head is pretty much going to explode. They're going in therewith this attitude like, "I've got to get the best thing on the menu." That's the type of person they are. They always want the best of everything. They're going to have to look at every page and every page and try to find the best thing. Once they pick something, they're going to be wondering, "I wonder if there was something better out there." Then, they're discontent with what they have.
Now, I'm a big time satisfizer, just so you know. I go into Cheesecake Factory and this is how I handle it. I just kind of pick one page, I can't even handle the whole menu. I just kind of pick one page and I'm like, "I'm going to find something I like on this page. I'm going to eat it and I'm going to be happy with it and I'm going to like it." I don't need to have the best. It's not like this is my last meal before my execution or something where it just has to be the greatest meal I've ever had. I mean, to me if I go to that restaurant I get a meal I like and eat it, I'm going to walk out happy. Need to worry about, "What if there was something better out there?"
Now, other restaurants are the exact opposite of Cheesecake Factory, like an In-N-Out Burger, where you walk in and it's like there's one thing on the menu: burgers. It's real simple. It's like: cheeseburger, fries, shake or coke. It's that simple, folks. Real simple. There's no hot dogs, no chicken. It's just burgers. It's like the exact opposite style menu. Even fancy restaurants, sometimes I've gone to a fancy restaurant where they have a really limited menu. It will just have like five choices and you just pick one.
Most people think that having a whole bunch of choices is going to make you happier with what you end up getting. You got all these choices, you're more likely to find something really good that you're going to like. In fact, sometimes having a lot of choices actually just makes people more discontent because they see everything that they're missing, that all looks good if they're that type of person.
Now, another thing that you think about is with marriage, that there are some people that go out there and they want to find someone that they can spend the rest of their life with, someone to love and to cherish, and to spend their life with and be married to. Then, there's other people that are going out there looking for the unicorn wife or the unicorn husband. They want to find the best man on the planet or the best woman on the planet. They're going to go on this quest to find it. These people are still single when they're like in their 40s and whatever because they're still searching for the unicorn over the rainbow, the four leaf clover.
Now, it's interesting because part of what feeds into this mentality is the internet. If you actually go back in time and study who people used to marry in the United States, most people married someone who actually lived really close to them. People actually, if you study census records and things, you can look at the addresses of who they were when they got married and everything. People have studied this and gone through and added up all the figures and noticed how basically back 100 years ago, 80 years ago, people would often marry someone who lived on their street or on their block or in their same building or apartment complex. They would marry people that lived that close or they'd marry somebody from church, just down the street in their area. Whereas now, people marry people sometimes from really far away. Now, obviously that's because now with the internet, people just have all these choices, especially when people go into internet dating. It's a jungle out there.
Anyway, they go into this wild and woolly world of internet dating and basically now they're looking at like thousands profiles of thousands. Single guy, just thousands of women. Single woman, just thousands of men. It's just overwhelming how many choices there are. Whereas it used to be, you went to church, there's a couple people your age, you got a couple choices. Hey, that girl down the street looks pretty good. She's the only girl that lives on this street that's my age and she's single and I'm single. People actually used to just marry people that just kind of lived near them, went to church with them. They weren't just out on this quest for 52 points of compatibility. You know what? When you're limited to your town or your church or your area, you can't mess with 52 points. When you got the whole globe to deal with, now you're looking for that. I want to make sure that she likes the long walks by the beach and whatever all the points of compatibility and make sure it all lines up.
The question is: Are people happier now? Are they getting divorced less? Are they happier with their choice? Are they happier marriages? Well, I don't think so. The point is that when it comes to being married, there are people who love their wife as a person and they cherish her and they're satisfied with her. They're not out looking for something better. Then, there are people who basically marry their wife and then they spend the rest of their life thinking, "I wonder if I could have done better?" That's a wicked thought. It's covetousness. It's wicked. It's very hurtful to your spouse also to have that mentality. "You know, I wonder if there's something better out there."
Now, listen I don't want to break your heart or anything. Just statistically speaking, there's probably a better woman out there than the one you're married to, just because there are 8 billion people in the world. I mean, just statistically speaking, the chances of you being married to the best one are pretty slim, especially since I already am. I mean, even your chances of being married to the number two best woman, what are the chances? Here's the thing, the chances of you being married to the best man on the planet, the most manliest, studly, awesome, godly, in every way the greatest provider on the planet, the chances of that are almost nill because there's 8 billion people in the world.
That's a stupid mentality. Marriage is about love. It's not about, "What's the best that I can do for myself?" No, it's about loving someone and spending the rest of your life with that person until death. It's a commitment. It's love. Obviously, you should choose someone that you like. Listen, if you're not excited about the person that you're thinking about getting married to, don't get married to that person. Good night, even when it's new, even when you're not married, you're not excited, yeah, that's a problem. You should be excited about who you're marrying. It's not like the excitement is going to come later or something. You know, you better be excited about the person that you're marrying. Otherwise, pick someone else.
At the same time, you can't just go looking for some unicorn and thinking, "I've got to find the best possible." Here's the best possible person for you: the one that you pick and love with all your heart and spend your life with and are committed to. That's what it's all about. People get this weird mentality where there's so many choices and they just think that there's something else out there instead of just realizing, "I'm happy to have something."
I mean, look, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord." Instead of just being happy that I have a wonderful wife. I love my wife. They're looking for something "better". It might not even be better, it's just the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. It's covetousness. Same thing with food, same thing with your car, same thing with your house. When I bought my car, the Hyundai Sonata that I drove for many years, which was my personal car that I used for work. I was not out to buy the coolest car ever, the best car ever. I just wanted a car that would be a nice car for me. I bought it and I was happy with it and I was satisfied with it. I didn't feel like, "Oh man. I need to be in a Mustang or something." I was okay with my Korean-made Hyundai Sonata. It's fine. What else do you need? The thing with 355 thousand miles before it gave up the ghost. What else do you need?
Look at Numbers chapter 11 verse 1. The Bible reads, "And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp." Let that sink down into your ears. People complained and what did it do? It made God angry. He burned with his wrath among them. This is not a minor thing, is it? When God's burning people up, he's pretty mad. What was he so mad about? Because they complained.
Let me tell you something. God is the same yesterday and today and forever. When you complain about your wife, when you complain about your husband, when you complain about your car, complain about your house, complain about the neighborhood that you live in, complain about every aspect of your life, it still displeases the Lord. Why don't you just be that guy who walks into Cheesecake Factory, orders something that looks good off the menu, eats it, and is happy with it and goes home and says, "That was a good meal. I enjoyed that." Instead of walking out like, "I don't know. It seemed like what he had was a little better than what I had." You spoiled brat. You should just be happy to even be eating at the Cheesecake Factory because it's an expensive place. A lot of people couldn't even afford to darken the door of that place. Just be happy to be there.
I mean, just to be there and to just eat the bread that they bring out. That brown bread with all the oats on it and the whipped butter. That should be enough. You know what, I could go right now. I could go right now to Cheesecake Factory and sit with you as you ate a seven course feast amongst our table. I could sit there and just say, "Keep bringing more of that brown bread. More brown bread," the white bread, I wouldn't make this bet. The brown stuff with the oats ... Who knows what I'm talking about? It's like when they have at Black Angus, the molasses bread. I could sit there and eat that molasses bread and just keep buttering it and putting it into my mouth and drink a big cold glass of water.
I don't care if you have a strawberry lemonade. I don't care what kind of steak you're eating, what kind of seafood, what kind of pasta. I don't care. Give me water and brown bread and butter without prescribing how much. I will be content. I don't even need to look at that menu. No thank you, sir. I don't need to see the menu. Brown bread. Keep the brown bread coming. Why? Because it's good. Why would I be unhappy to eat something that good?
People get spoiled where they just lust after ... I mean, there's people right now in North Korea that are just lusting after white rice. They just wish they could eat rice. Seriously. It's true. I mean, there are people all over the world that are eating out of a garbage can. Listen, children, because children are the ones who complain about their food more than anybody. Listen, children, when you complain about your food, you're displeasing the Lord and you're displeasing your parents. The fire of your parents will burn your backside.
Anyway, look what the Bible says. He says, "It burnt among them." Verse number 2, "And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again ..." What does it mean to weep? Okay. These are adults. What are they crying about? Are they crying because they just lost a loved one? No, actually they're crying because they remember the fish. Look what it says. "They wept again and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." They're crying over their food.
Parents, has your kid ever cried about their food? Put up your hand. Who has children and your children have cried about their food? Look, I was once the child who cried about my food. I used to, when I was a kid and my parents would give me food I didn't like, I would cry so hard that I would induce vomiting. Who knows what I'm talking about? I would cry and I would cry until I would throw up and my mom would say, "Are you empty yet?" She would give me a haircut and I would cry until I threw up and then she'd say, "Are you empty yet? Good." And then finish the haircut. "Good. You're empty. You can't throw up anymore."
I remember being served broccoli and cheese as a kid and throwing up about it. It's because you cry and get all worked up, you throw up. I was a little brat. Thank God my parents whipped my backside and got me into shape. Thank God for parents that spanked. That's back in that generation before. That's what always has been done with bratty spoiled kids. Nowadays, oh no. That's cruel. Oh no, that's abusive. Children need to be spanked and they need to be taught not to fuss over all their food and not to just turn their nose up at everything that's not chicken fingers and french fries and pizza. They turn their nose up at everything else.
Honestly, these people are grown men, grown women. These are adults and they're crying over their food, crying because they don't have the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic. "But now our soul is dried away," verse 6, "there is nothing at all ..." That sounds like they have no food to eat. "There's nothing at all besides this manna." That's the free food that God's been giving them everyday. Angels' food. The Bible says, "Man did eat angels' food. The taste of it was like honey. The taste of it was like fresh oil." Yeah, but it wasn't enough variety for them. They got tired of eating Cornflakes every day.
"And the manna," verse 7, "was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it. Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness."
Look, Moses is saying to God, "Please kill me so I don't have to deal with these people." Why? Because they're whining about their food all the time, crying and whining and complaining. "All we have is manna. I want onions. I want garlic. I want cucumbers." He's just like, "Kill me now, please. Why have you done this to me?" Look, that should show you how annoying it is, children, when you complain about your food. You mom is like, "Kill me now, Lord." No, she's not. She really did give birth to you. She can't say like Moses said. I can't say, "Have I begotten them?" Yes, I did.
The point is though that is if we discipline our children, the Bible says they'll give us rest. Whereas the child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. He that spareth his rod hateth his son but he that loveth him, chasteth him but times. We do need to teach our children if we want to enjoy our children, we need to teach them that this kind of behavior is not allowed. You don't want to get like Moses where you're real upset and angry and yelling at God about it because of the fact that your kids are whining and fussing and complaining at every meal. You got to discipline that out of them.
You know, you kids that are listening to this sermon, you need to understand that all the food that you're given by your parents is a blessing especially because you're eating very nutritious food in most cases. You know, I know that some people might be giving their kids Top Ramen and McDonald's frequently, but the vast majority of people in this church are probably feeding their kids a pretty good diet. They're probably trying to give them three squares a day. I know in my house, the food that's being served is well-prepared by my wife, it's nutritious food.
You know what? Sometimes it wouldn't kill us to have a meatless meal. It wouldn't kill us to eat a meal that's based on rice and beans or eat a meal that's a pasta with no meat or something. It's like, "What's the deal? Where's the beef?" Wait a minute, sometimes you need to save a little money and tone it down a little bit on the steaks and lobster, for crying out loud. You can actually make tostadas and burritos without meat in them and save a little money and not whine about it and not complain about it.
Because of the fact that your parents love you and they're trying to feed you nutritious food and kids don't know what's good. Listen, kids, you don't know what's good. I want every child listening to me right now. You are not a connoisseur of food. That's why Chuck E. Cheese sees you coming a mile away and serves you the worst pizza ever and you love it because you don't know what's good. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Children don't know what good food is. As you get older, you learn what good food is. Let your parents teach you what good food is. Your parents will tell you, "This is good. Eat it. This is good." Then, you need to eat it and realize how good it is over time.
Look, if you took a little kid to McDonald's, they'll think it's great. The Happy Meal. It's not great. Adults don't think it's great. I mean, at least adults who eat nutritious food normally. They don't think McDonald's is the coolest meal. No, not at all. Kids do. Why? Because kids don't know what good food is. They need parents to teach them. By the way, what you end up liking is just what you're used to. You can used to virtually any food. They say that if you eat something 11 times, you'll like it going forward. That's why when your kids are little, you should feed them a variety of food so that they're not just like limited to just chicken fingers for the rest of their life. You know, broaden their palette and eat nutritious fruit and vegetables.
Look, God looked upon all the stuff that he made, all the fruits and vegetables God made, what did he say about them? He said, "It's all very good. It's good for food. It's good for you." That means that we shouldn't just be turning up our nose at just the majority of fruit and turning up our nose at the majority of vegetables. You know, God made these animals to be consumed. We shouldn't just be turning up our nose and just have this really limited view. No, that means you're a spoiled brat at that point. We should broaden our palette and not be like these people who whine and physically cry over having the wrong food.
I guarantee you that that manna was everything that they needed, nutritionally. I guarantee it. I don't doubt it for one second that it had the protein that they needed, the carbohydrate that they needed, the fats and the omega 3, the omega 6. It had the vitamins. It had the minerals. I guarantee you that if God's providing it and saying, "This is your main food source," it's probably the most nutritious thing that they could have been eating. It was probably everything that they needed. I don't doubt that for a second. Yet, they whined about it because they wanted a party in their mouth. Every meal doesn't have to be a party in our mouth. We eat for strength, not for drunkeness. When it comes to our food, when it comes to our lives, our job, we need to be satisfied and content with what we have and not always coveting something else.
Now, some people are more of a satisfizer and some people are more of a maximizer in life. Let me tell you something, we all need to learn in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content. Here's the thing. The reason I bring this up about marriage is because there are a lot of people that come to me, not necessarily in our church, but just because I'm a pastor, people come to you with a lot of problems and you hear about a lot of problems and bad situations. There are a lot of marriages that are falling apart today. There are a lot of divorces that are happening today. Wouldn't you agree with that? I mean, the United States, there are a lot of marriages that are ending and divorces that are happening. I think a lot of it starts when people start asking themselves, "Is there something better out there? Am I married to the right person?" You know what? That is just a thought that should never enter your mind because switching is not an option, friend.
Once you're married, you shouldn't sit there and evaluate whether or not you want to be married to that person. That is just wicked. No, you're committed. You're in it for life. When you get married, you should just focus on how I can love this person more. How can I love my spouse more? How can I build this relationship and get along better and be happier and make them happy instead of worrying about yourself, try making them happy for a while. Do all the stuff that they want for a while and see how that goes. Instead, so many people are looking over at the grass on the other side of the fence.
I'm telling you, the internet is part of this. I'm not against the internet. Let me say this though: The internet opens our eyes to a much larger world outside and the danger of that is that we can start becoming discontented with our own lives, especially because much of what we see on the internet is an illusion. You know, basically we go on the internet, we go on Facebook, and there's all these thousands of people on Facebook.
Normally, we wouldn't really know that many people. I mean, I have 4,999 friends on Facebook. Back years ago, I wouldn't have had 4,999 friends. Right? That's too many friends. In Facebook, they let you have a maximum of 5,000. I always keep it at 4,999 because there's always room for one more.
The bottom line is that with all these friends what it does is it shows you ... People are always showing you their life on Facebook. "Hey, here's the vacation we went on. Here's the meal that we ate. Here's what we did." Here's the thing about that. Don't you think people are putting their best foot forward? "Hey, everybody. Just had a big fight with my spouse." There are people who post that. That's even worse. Those people are the worst because they need to keep their own business to themselves because that's embarrassing to themselves and their spouse. The average person with any brains or tact isn't going on Facebook and saying, "Hey, just had a big fight with my spouse. The beer mug was thrown at me and I just barely dodged it. It almost hit me in the head. Lol." That's not the type of status that people are posting, necessarily.
See, people tend to post stuff that makes them look good. Right? You know, what they're doing is they're posting all the good stuff. They take 30 pictures of themself, 29 of them look terrible, one of them looks awesome because all the stars aligned and the sun beamed in and then Photoshop went to work. Then, it came out awesome. That's what gets posted, not them when they just woke up in the morning and they got sleep in their eyes and whatever. Not them after they've been up all night with the baby or whatever. That's not the picture that's getting posted.
Then, they're posting all the good ... "Oh, look at this wonderful vacation. Look at the fun." If you were behind the scenes of that picture, it's like, "Just shut up and pretend like you're having fun for a second so I can get this picture taken." Or, "Hey, here's me and my wife kissing," and that's like the only time they've kissed in the last month and it's photographed and uploaded to Facebook. Seriously.
You say, "Why are you bringing that up, Pastor Anderson?" Because the tendency can be there to look at all these perfect lives on Facebook and start thinking, "Oh, I wish that my life were a little more like their life," or, "I wish that my wife was a little more like their wife," or, "I wish that my husband were more like him." You're seeing all these perfect people on Facebook. It's an illusion.
There's no temptation taking you, but such is as common to man. All the same junk that you're dealing with in your life, they're dealing with, I'm dealing with the same thing, everybody's dealing with it. It's life. Why don't you just be content? You got Jesus in your heart, you got a church that loves you, you got the Bible being preached, you got Jesus, you got a home in Heaven, you got three warm meals a day, you got a roof over your head, you got a car or a bike or a bus ticket. Why don't you just be thankful with what you have at this season?
Don't let all this advertising get to you and tell you all the stuff you need. It's just going to clutter your house and make you unhappy because you have too much stuff. Have you ever known people who just have way too much stuff in their house? You walk in their house it's like, "Whoa. Pack rat. You need to get rid of some of this stuff." Think about that stuff that's like, "Oh, this is so cool." Then it's just like junk for the rest of your life that you never get rid of. Junking up the place, cluttering up the place.
What do we really need in this world? Very little. We need to live a simpler life and not get caught up in the materialistic, commercialistic. You know, around this season, why don't we think about loving our family? If we buy gifts for people, let's buy stuff from the heart. You know what, if you buy gifts for people, it doesn't even necessarily have to be something you buy. Sometimes you can make someone a really nice gift or make a memory with someone that can sometimes even mean more than just throwing money at somebody, if you think about it. Sometimes, you just always want to spend money when it reality, some of the funnest times and the best moments are things that don't even cost money. You know, think about the birth of Christ. Think about loving your family. Don't just get caught up in this materialistic of the new Xbox 5000 and the PS22 and the new flat screen digital ...
What's the hot item this year? What is it? Tickle Me Elmo? What was that like? Was that the 90s or what? Who knows what I'm talking about? Tickle Me Elmo. People are like trampling each other to get the Tickle Me Elmo. You know what? I bet you could probably buy one of those stupid things for 99 cents. I mean, I don't know. Somebody go on eBay real quick. Don't really do it. You know, go on eBay, "Tickle Me Elmo". It's probably like a dime a dozen. Free with shipping or something. People probably just trying to get rid of it. It's probably on Freecycle. Tickle Me Elmo. What was it the Trolls? The troll dolls was the hot item. What else was the hot item in the past? What was it? The Cabbage Patch Kids. What's the hot item this year? What's everybody trampling each other about on Friday? Video games. The same stuff. What's the video game? The 4k TV. Why would you even need that much resolution? 4k.
You know what's funny is that like the kids of yesteryear, they played their games on the tube television that was like this big with the rabbit ears coming out of it. They played 16 bit Nintendo games and they thought it was the coolest thing. Now, they got to have the newest, the PS-whatever millionth number they're on. You know, I don't get caught up in any of that. Just let the world get all excited about all that stuff and let's just be satisfied and content with what we have. If we get gifts, great, cool. Let's not just sit there and fixate on that and make it all about that. Let's be content and satisfied with what we have.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for these Bible stories about these spoiled brats, Lord, like Ahab and Rehoboam and the children of Israel. Lord, help us to learn from their mistakes and not to lust as they lusted, not to covet as they coveted, Lord. Help us rather to just be like the apostle Paul where we can just be content with whatever we have and just enjoy some hot coco and sing some Christmas songs and spend time with family and not get caught up in all the covetousness of this time of year, Lord. Help us to just enjoy a piece of buttered bread and not whine about all the things that we can't afford. In Jesus's name we pray, amen.